Kaiserslautern (German pronunciation:
[ˌkaɪzɐsˈlaʊtɐn] ( listen)) is a city in southwest
Germany, located in the Bundesland (State) of Rhineland-Palatinate
(Rheinland-Pfalz) at the edge of the
Palatinate Forest (Pfälzerwald).
The historic centre dates to the 9th century. It is 459 kilometres
(285 miles) from Paris, 117 km (73 miles) from
Frankfurt am Main,
and 159 km (99 miles) from Luxembourg.
Kaiserslautern is home to 100,569 people (December 2016).
Additionally, approximately 45,000
NATO military personnel inhabit the
city and its surrounding district (Landkreis Kaiserslautern), and
contribute approximately US$1 billion annually to the local
economy. The city is also home to football club 1. FC
Kaiserslautern that has won the German championship four times.
1.3 Bavarian province
1.4 World War II
3.1 Culture and sports
3.2 Museums and libraries
4 University in Kaiserslautern
5 Research Centre in Kaiserslautern
8 US Military
9 International relations
10 Notable residents
11 See also
13 External links
Prehistoric settlement in the area of what is now
been traced to at least 800 BC. Some 2,500-year-old Celtic tombs were
uncovered at Miesau, a town about 29 kilometres (18 miles) west of
Kaiserslautern. The recovered relics are now in the Museum for
Palatinate History at Speyer.
Kaiserslautern received its name from the favorite hunting retreat of
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa who ruled the Holy Roman
Empire from 1155 until 1190. The small river Lauter made the old
Kaiserslautern an island in medieval times. Ruins of
Frederick's original castle, built 1152–1160, can still be seen in
front of the Rathaus (city hall). A second castle, Nanstein Castle,
was built at
Landstuhl to guard the western approach to the city.
Barbarossa's influence on
Kaiserslautern remains today, both in its
nickname as a "Barbarossa city" and the open-mouthed pike on the
city's coat of arms, reportedly his favorite dish.
The Stiftkirche, Kaiserslautern's oldest church, was constructed in
1250–1350. As the population of
Kaiserslautern grew, King Rudolf von
Habsburg chartered the town in 1276. St. Martin's Kirche (church) was
built from 1300–1350 for an order of monks. Today a section of the
original city wall still stands in the courtyard of the church.
In 1375, the city of
Kaiserslautern was pledged to Electoral
Palatinate and therefore became subsequently part of the Wittelsbach
Franz von Sickingen
Franz von Sickingen became the owner of Nanstein Castle. He
became a Protestant, and in 1522 Nanstein was a stronghold for local
nobles favouring the Reformation. Sickingen and the local nobles began
their battle against the Archbishop of Trier; but the attack was
unsuccessful, and they retreated to Nanstein. Nanstein was then
besieged by cannon-armed German
Catholic princes. Sickingen died after
the castle surrendered, and the
Protestant nobility of the Electoral
Palatinate were subdued by the
Count of the
Electoral Palatinate Johann Casimir, came to
Kaiserslautern during the
Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). Spanish
occupation in 1621–1632 ended when
Protestant Swedish armies
liberated the area. In 1635, however, Croatian troops of the Austrian
emperor's army entered
Kaiserslautern and killed 3,000 of the 3,200
residents in three days' plundering.
saved from a similar fate by surrendering without a fight. It took
Kaiserslautern about 160 years to repopulate itself.
Conflict did not end with the
Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The Elector
of the Pfalz had difficulty with many of his subjects and ordered all
castles, including Nanstein, destroyed. The French repeatedly invaded
and occupied the area, residing in
Kaiserslautern in 1686–1697.
Nevertheless, after the treaty of Utrecht it was restored to be part
of the Palatinate. During the unquiet episodes in the 18th century,
the Palatinate was the scene of fighting between French and German
troops of different states. In 1713, the French destroyed Barbarossa's
castle and the city's wall towers. From 1793 until Napoleon's defeat
at Waterloo in 1815, the area was under French administration.
As French power declined after 1815,
Kaiserslautern and the Palatinate
became a Bavarian province and remained so until 1918. After World War
I, French troops again occupied the Palatinate for several years.
World War II
In World War II, Allied bombing destroyed more than 60% of
Kaiserslautern. The railway and several main roads were primary
targets, with the heaviest attacks occurring on 7 January, 11 August,
and 28 September 1944. On 20 March 1945, as the last of the 1st Army
Rhine at Remagen, the U.S. 80th Division, 319th Infantry,
part of the 3rd US Army, seized
Kaiserslautern without resistance.
Little reconstruction took place until the currency reform of 1948.
The pace of the economy remained slow until 1952, when construction
for newly established garrisons of American troops brought economic
growth to the area.
Unexploded ordnance from WWII continues to be discovered in and around
Kaiserslautern. In May 2012 an unexploded 250-pound Allied bomb was
found, buried deeply and reportedly covered by water pipe, during a
construction project in the downtown area of the city. On 5 September
2013, another WWII bomb was found during construction near the train
station in Enkenbach-Alsenborn.
Largest groups of foreign residents
Kaiserslautern has a moderate climate with adequate rainfall
year-round. It is classified as a "Cfb" (Marine West Coast
Climate/Oceanic climate) by the Köppen Climate Classification
Climate data for Kaiserslautern
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst 
Source #2: Wetterkontor 
Kaiserslautern is a modern centre of information and
communications technology and home to a well-known university, a
technical college and many international research institutes located
throughout the city.
The Palatine Gallery dates from 1874 featuring exhibits of painting
and sculpture from the 19th century to the present day.
Kaiserslautern Town Hall
Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway Station)
Town Hall Kaiserslautern
Town Hall Kaiserslautern is one of the tallest buildings and is
located in the city centre. The bar and coffee shop on the top floor
provides a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside.
The tallest building in the centre of
Kaiserslautern is St. Mary's, a
Catholic church, whilst the highest structure in all
Kaiserslautern is the television tower in the suburb of Dansenberg,
southwest of the city centre.
Kaiserslautern's large botanical gardens feature a Japanese-style
garden. Another unusual feature is the Waschmühle (also known as
"Wesch"), an enormous 160-metre public swimming pool that is the
largest in Europe. There are several pedestrian only shopping zones
with numerous and varied restaurants and bars located in the city
centre surrounding the old city (Altstadt). In the Altstadt you will
find the "Kaiserbrunnen", a large ornamental fountain with symbols of
the city's history such as a sewing machine, as produced by the Pfaff
company in the city, a football representing the city's football club
and various animals that children can climb.
Culture and sports
Fritz Walter Stadion, the stadium of
2. Bundesliga club 1. FC
Local theatre Pfalztheater employs more than 300 people and features
plays, operas, ballets, concerts, and musicals. The first German
performance of West Side Story took place there. As the arts in
Germany are significantly subsidized by the government, its ticket
prices are reasonably low. Pfalztheater
Kaiserslautern hosts the
Else-Lasker-Schüler-Preis awards for German literature.
The Kammgarn is classified as a historical site. It served as a
spinning factory before being transformed into the cultural heart of
Kaiserslautern. This renovation has preserved its historical character
while incorporating the latest sound and lighting technologies. The
Kammgarn stands among the top venues in
Germany and serves as a
first-call club for rising groups and performers as well as
established jazz, rock, blues and pop artists in Europe. Performances
have included international stars B.B. King, Manfred Mann's Earth
Band, Pat Metheny, Uriah Heep and Jan Garbarek.
Gartenschau (Garden exhibition)
Better known as the 'Dino Park' because of its lifesize dinosaur
models, the Gartenschau is open from April through October and is
popular with families. Having begun as a series of botanical displays
and enjoying success at the first State Garden Exhibition of
Kaiserslautern in 2000, this 54-acre
(220,000 m2) park has been transformed into one of the most
multi-dimensional cultural centres in Germany.
Fritz-Walter-Stadion accommodates 48,500 football fans. In June
2006, after renovation,
Kaiserslautern was one of 12 German cities to
host the 2006 FIFA World Cup. During the five matches played, the
first goal ever from an Australian team in a Football World Cup match
was scored (by Tim Cahill).
Kaiserslautern is also home to the Football team 1. FC Kaiserslautern,
which achieved the title "Deutscher Meister" (German champions) four
times and the wheelchair basketball team FCK Rolling Devils.
Museums and libraries
Palatinate Gallery of Art Pfalzgalerie (artgallery, mainly pictures
and sculptures from the 19th and 20th century)
Wadgasserhof/ Theodor-Zink-Museum (local history)
Stadtbibliothek (Municipal Library)
Universitätsbibliothek (university library of Kaiserslautern)
Hochschulbibliothek (Bibliothek of Fachhochschule)
Pfalzbibliothek (scientific library with a main focus on the
Electorate of the Palatinate
Electorate of the Palatinate issues)
The Japanese Garden in the botanic gardens.
Kaiserslautern is located in one of the largest contiguous forested
areas in Central Europe, the Palatinate Forest, which offers numerous
hiking trails and lakes to visitors.
Other places of interest in
The Humberg Tower, an observation tower on the Humberg hill which was
built in 1900 and offers a great view over the Palatinate Forest
Kaiserslautern Zoo at Siegelbach
Karlstal (a whitewater canyon)
Kaiserpfalz, the castle of emperor Barbarossa (Redbeard)
Nanstein Castle, Landstuhl, a castle in the district
Hohenecken Castle, in a suburb/ward of Kaiserslautern
Gartenschau, a horticultural show, including the largest dinosaur show
in the EU
Quaidersberg (394 metres or 1,293 feet), a hill and natural monument
500 metres (1,600 feet) outside the city
The Japanischer Garten (Japanese Garden), the largest garden of its
kind in Europe.
University in Kaiserslautern
University of Kaiserslautern
University of Kaiserslautern was founded on 13 July 1970. Earlier,
it was part of the twin University of Trier/Kaiserslautern. It started
with the departments of Mathematics,
Physics and Technology. Later
many more faculties were added.
University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern
University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern was founded on 1971.
The main departments including Applied Logistics & Polymer
Sciences, Building and Design, Business Administration, Engineering
and Computer Sciences / Microsystems Technology.
Research Centre in Kaiserslautern
German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence
The largest church is St. Mary's (Marienkirche) - a Roman Catholic
church. There is also the historic
Protestant Church of the Apostle
(Apostelkirche). Right at the heart of the city is the very large and
old Stiftskirche (also Protestant). All three have very large pipe
organs and occ concerts.
The oldest house in town is the Spinnraedel, a guesthouse, only a few
steps from the Stiftskirche in the centre of town.
The city has two mosques. The first was built by the Turkish community
living in the city. Another one built more recently is the Islamic
Centre (which is an Arabic organization).
The city was once the site of the magnificent Moorish Revival
Kaiserslautern synagogue. Built in 1886, the synagogue's great dome
could be seen from across the city. It was destroyed on 31 August
1938, a few months before Kristallnacht.
Kaiserslautern has a broad-based commercial economy. Among the big
companies located in the city are:
Adam Opel AG
Adam Opel AG (engines and components factory)
AMEC Earth & Environmental (Environmental Consulting and
Technology (formerly Blue-Order)
Empolis GmbH (Content & Knowledge Management Software)
General Dynamics European Land Systems-
Germany (until 2002 Eisenwerke
Kaiserslautern; amphibious vehicles, mobile bridges for military use)
John Deere Research and Development branch
Johnson Controls, formerly Keiper (carseats)
Pfaff Industrie Maschinen AG (sewing machines)
1950 photograph of barracks in Kaiserslautern
Between 1950 and 1955,
Kaiserslautern developed into the largest US
military community outside of the United States. For this reason
Kaiserslautern is also referred to as "K-town"; a term coined by the
early American military population who had difficulty pronouncing the
Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) is a combined
community consisting of Army and Air Force components. The KMC
consists of Army facilities at Kleber, Panzer, and Dänner-Kaserne,
Landstuhl, Miesau, Einsiedlerhof, Pirmasens, Sembach,
Barracks and Pulaski Barracks along with Air Force facilities located
at Ramstein Air Base, Vogelweh, and Kapaun Air Station.
Kaiserslautern is twinned with:
Davenport, Iowa, United States since 1960
France since 1967
France since 1967
London Borough of Newham, UK since 1974
Bunkyo-ku, district of Tokyo,
Japan since 1988
Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg,
Germany since 1988
Bulgaria since 1999
Columbia, South Carolina,
United States since 2000
Denmark since 2000
Portugal since 2000
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2003
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Ludwig Fischer (1905–1947), German Nazi lawyer and government
official executed for war crimes
Betzenberg Wildlife Park
^ "Gemeinden in Deutschland mit Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2015"
Statistisches Bundesamt (in German). 2016.
^ "IMCOM Region Europe — Fact Sheets". U.S. Army Installation
Management Command - Europe Region. Archived from the original on
^ Climate Summary for Kaiserslautern
^ "Mittelwerte 30-jähriger Perioden". Retrieved May 31, 2013.
^ "Klima Deutschland, Ramstein". Retrieved May 31, 2013.
^ "synagogue KL". Kaiserslautern: Medienzentrum
Aktuelles. Archived from the original on 2005-11-20.
Davenport, Iowa Sister Cities Archived 2008-04-08 at the
^ Градови партнери [
Banja Luka - Partner
cities]. Administrative Office of the
Banja Luka (in Serbian).
Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaiserslautern.
Kaiserslautern travel guide from Wikivoyage
History of Kaiserslautern
Website about some restaurant and festival reviews in and around
Important cities and tourist sites in Germany: Greater region of
Heidelberg / Rhine-Neckar–Palatinate
Other touristic sites
German Wine Route
Urban and rural districts in the State of